What is TOP (Top of the Pines)?
Top of the Pines (TOP) is a unique open space preserve that provides a public portal into the wilderness. It was acquired by Ouray County as a rustic “living-classroom retreat” for use by pre-registered and supervised groups including families, organizations, and private or corporate groups. Use is dedicated to outdoor educational programs, leadership and team building initiatives, and the enhancement of conservation of our local natural resources through managed public exposure and education. Groups and organizations interested in utilizing Top of the Pines can call 970.626.9788 or email email@example.com.
The Top of the Pines property contains 175 mountain acres at an elevation of 8,580 feet. Spectacular views of both the Mount Sneffels and the Cimarron mountain ranges permeate the property. The seasonal West Lake accompanies a spacious mountain meadow. A natural amphitheater, framed by a Mt. Sneffels backdrop, is easily accessible from the main entrance. An extensive cross-country skiing and hiking trail system weaves through the ponderosa pines and alpine meadows.
The main pavilion, upon completion, will include an educational classroom which can accommodate up to 150 people, classroom office and storage space, restrooms, and a kitchen. A spacious deck will expand the pavilion use and provide a seamless connection with the out-of-doors. Potable water and electricity are easily accessible. Tent sites, a camp fire circle, and rustic overnight possibilities abound. An extensive renovation, involving five phases over the next five years, is underway in order to maximize community use opportunities.
Top of the Pines serves the community in multiple ways:
- As an outdoor classroom for our local school children year-round.
- As a camping and outdoor learning facility that includes hiking and cross-country skiing trails for youth and senior organizations, church groups, scouting troops, professional organizations, artisans, service groups, and other regional groups.
- As a serene setting for retreats, conferences, gatherings, and events.
- As a place for rewarding community service projects for youth.
- As a preserved mountain setting to inspire environmental sustainability.
- As a model of open space and wildlife habitat preservation for future generations.
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